Nearly nine out of 10 passengers are satisfied with ScotRail services, a transport watchdog has found.

Transport Focus said 89 per cent of the 1,344 ScotRail passengers surveyed in autumn 2019 were satisfied with the train operator.

This is up nine percentage points on the same period the previous year, which marked a 15-year low.

READ MORE: ScotRail fined more than £3.3m over service failures

The rise was second largest increase across the UK behind Great Northern, which rose 12 percentage points.

The annual National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) found around three-quarters of ScotRail passengers were satisfied with the punctuality and reliability of the trains.

Less than half found how the train operator deals with delays to be satisfactory, while just over half believed they receive value for money.

The satisfaction score for the level of crowding was 77 per cent and the information provided during journeys scored 78 per cent.

Of the 41 factors surveyed for trains and stations, ScotRail improved in all but six.

Among the largest increases were the satisfaction score for the availability of power sockets on trains and usefulness of on-train information about delays.

Bike and car parking at stations were among the largest falls.

Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Passengers in Scotland have felt the benefit of investment and stabilised performance.

“Satisfaction with punctuality has increased and this is crucial – the most important thing for passengers is a service they can rely on.

“ScotRail’s focus on delivering its performance remedial plan has resulted in the best autumn punctuality figures in five years.

“Delivery of the NRPS remedial plan, and investment in new trains and timetable enhancements, has seen satisfaction in most train factors rise.”

Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s head of customer operations, said parent company Abellio’s £475 million investment in new and upgraded trains is helping to improve the railway.

He said: “Everyone at ScotRail is working flat out to deliver the service that our customers expect and deserve.

READ MORE: ScotRail ‘stop skipping’ on the rise according to new figures

“I am delighted to see such a significant increase in customer satisfaction, which shows that the hard work of our people is paying off.”

Last month, the Scottish Government announced Abellio will to be stripped of the contract to run ScotRail services three years early.

The franchise will now end around March 2022, with the move following criticism for overcrowding, rising ticket prices, delays and cancellations.